Why Do the Japanese Dislike American Cars?

Vehicles of Japanese brands flood the streets of the United States, but in Japan few American cars can be really found. Inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun consider the products of the US auto industry to be not good enough.

Being in Japan, you have little chance to see American vehicles on the roads. Moreover, in this country there are almost no dealerships of US brands, despite a zero rate of import duty for American cars.

At the same time Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas are very popular in the USA. People here think they are stylish, beautiful, reliable and technological.

Of course, such a clear imbalance in the markets of these two countries cannot be liked either by the American government or by the automakers.

The Japanese do not buy vehicles of the US brands, why? Indeed, Ford left Japan in 2017, General Motors managed to sell only 700 cars here in 2018.

People in Japan have their own attitude to the US auto industry. Overwhelmingly, the Japanese believe that Americans produce the cars which do not fully match their tastes, as they are huge and voracious, unreliable and inefficient.

About 40% vehicles sold in Japan are small, super-efficient K-cars (“keijidōsha”). Almost all of them are produced by Suzuki and Daihatsu.

Japan is a densely populated country with very active street traffic. Given these conditions, the Japanese prefer to drive undersized maneuverable cars that fit easily into narrow streets and small parking spaces.


On top of that, dealers of the Japanese brands care very much about customers, offering discounts, extra services and organizing car shows for them.

Therefore, 95% vehicles on the roads in Japan belong to local brands. The remaining 5% are European sports cars, as well as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi luxury models.

Upper photo: Suzuki Ignis

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